As we brainstormed for cost-effective cover ideas for The Influence, I thought about my little niece, Julia. She is the physical embodiment of the character of Bella Mae Cassler in my story. I also knew of some places around my hometown where there were large rocks (you'll get it when you read the book). The idea was to get Julia around these large rocks and photograph her for the cover of my novel.
My little sister was all for it. But that led to a string of amusing text messages.
Bethany: What kind of book is it?
Me: Contemporary science fiction. What time will you go to bed? I'm in class but I can call you and explain the story if you're not in bed later.
As a parent, I thought she might be asking in order to see how her daughter would be portrayed according to the story. But as it turned out, it wasn't actually Bethany who wanted to know. She had been telling someone about my book and they want to know what it was about.
Me: Okay. So you don't care if the baby in the story is a blood thirsty demon? LOL (Please note that this was only a test to see if she would object to such a subject. This is NOT what the story is about.)
Bethany: Nope. That will match Julia perfect sometimes! :)
Less than 5 minutes later, I got another text message that was accidentally sent to me instead of Bethany's friend.
Bethany: She just told me it's about a baby that is a blood thirsty demon.
Let me do my best /facepalm /headdesk combination. */FACEDESK*
Then came the day of the shoot. As it turned out, though, the large rocks weren't ideal for my cover. While the shape would've sufficed, they were limestone, not granite as indicated within the story. So we ended up shooting in a field next to the Fyffe High School football field. It was the perfect setting for an Alabama-based story with wild onions and puffy dandelion weeds sprouting up all over. My youngest son was along for the ride, as well, and he helped keep Julia interested in running around.
Included in this post are some of the photos from the shoot. I don't know yet if any of these will become the cover of my book, but nevertheless, we ended up with some great shots of our cutie pies.
At the end of the day, I thanked my sister for letting me shoot her daughter to which she replied, "Anytime."
And getting to spend the day with my wonderful little sister and niece... priceless. Because ultimately, that's the theme of the novel; the love sisters have for one another. I should know - I have four of them and I'm grateful for each one. We may not always get along or see eye to eye, but I hope my sisters know how much I love them and appreciate them.
Peace, love, and togetherness,